Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Earth to Bibby

On Tuesday night, the Sacramento Kings nearly stole home court advantage from the Spurs, but lost a three-point lead in the closing seconds and now are in danger of being swept. If you watched the game, you know that the Kings kicked the Spurs up and down the court for 48 minutes, only to lose in overtime. What happened? Well, a lot. Bonzi Wells fouled out of the game on a completely phantom foul call in the closing seconds. Brent Barry got a lucky bounce on a game-tying three (made possible by bad Sacramento defense and a moving pick by Duncan). But most importantly, Mike Bibby played like he was shaving points out there. 1-for-13 in regulation, 3-for-17 in the game, and countless moronic passes, dribbling mistakes, and missed defensive assignments. All of which leads to the question: what in the world has happened to Mike Bibby? It seems like just yesterday that he was torching the Mavs and Lakers in the 2001 Playoffs and building a reputation as one of the best clutch shooters in the game. Now he is a shell of his former self, getting dominated by Tony Parker and dragging his team down. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Kevin Martin, and Bonzi Wells all played outstanding games, but thanks to the dreadful play of Bibby, it was all for not.

The other side of this is how to view the Spurs after such a game. They nearly squandered home court advantage in a game with no Artest, no Miller for the final 20 minutes, and virtually no Bibby. And this team is supposed to roll to the Finals? I don't think so. The Spurs are not as good defensively as they were last year, Duncan is better at complaining now than he is at taking over games, and Ginobili is hit or miss (sometimes helping the opponent more than his own team). If not for Brent Barry turning back the clock, the Spurs would be on the ropes right now. I expect them to win the series 4-1, but they had better take it up a notch if they want to beat a hungry, deep, and talented Mavericks team.


Jeff Dritz said...

Unfortunately, since I took the Spurs, I agree. They're gonna have to play a lot better than they did. And Duncan has gone from possibly the most dominant player in the game to a solid but non-assertive supporting player.

Or, it could have just been a bad game.

Adam Hoff said...

Well, it seems Bibby played better in Game Three, but it might be too late. Had he turned in just an average performance in Game Two, the Kings would be up 2-1 and putting all kinds of pressure on San Antonio. As it stands now, this series is over.